With Conservatives and a record number of women and ethnic minority MP’s now in power, we’ll wait and see how far up pay equity is on the new political agenda. But research shows equal pay for the next generation, particularly the growing number of young women who are already the main earners is more vital than ever. A recent UK survey, by insurers LV, of more than 2,000 people on the gender pay gap surprisingly shows that 1 in 4 young women (under 24) out-earn their male partners. The study also found that of all age groups, 1 in 5 women is now the family breadwinner. But this isn’t a sign of gender equality, because female earnings: ”begin to dip after the age of 30 – the average age at which a woman gives birth and bringing up young families, while men earn more after the age of 40,” explains Steve Doughty in the DailyMail.
Interestingly, the sexes handle the responsibility differently: 43% of women and just 34% of men were stressed by being the main earner. The reason for the difference is probably twofold: men are more likely to have been raised with the expectation they’d ‘bring home the bacon’; doing so feels like a ‘natural’ responsibility and their ‘manly’ duty. Plus in our experience, women, particularly high achievers, plan ahead. They may be envisioning a future where the arrival of their own children mean they’d like to take a step back; difficult if the money is made by mum, not dad. Plus the rise of in-work poverty means that it takes two incomes to survive for any family – no doubt adding to her stress.